CANARIE and BCNET helping Canadians get ready for IPv6 transition

IPv6 Community Lab lets university techs test-drive next-generation Internet Protocol, work out the kinks in IPv6 transition

[Ottawa, ON | June 6, 2012] CANARIE, Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network, and BCNET, the Shared IT Services Organization for Higher Education in British Columbia, today announced, in conjunction with World IPv6 Launch Day, that universities and colleges have free access to an IPv6 Community Lab to help prepare their networks for the unavoidable upgrade from Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).


Together BCNET, CANARIE, and Cisco have created an IPv6 Community Lab, a network test-bed to provide real-time resources to help network administrators get hands-on IPv6 experience.

The IPv6 Community Lab is a hardware platform made up of routers, switches, and virtual servers that enable administrators to configure, test routing, applications and services on an IPv6 network. Participants learn about IPv6 by working through step-by-step assignments that walk them through the testing of various network connections.

The lab is available to all network administrators at Canadian research universities and institutions that are connected to the ultra-high-speed CANARIE network.

CANARIE also hosts IPv6 training materials for technicians whose institutions are connected to the CANARIE network. Ten training modules are available to download from CANARIE’s twiki.


“Moving to IPv6 is not optional – it is a necessity,” notes Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE. “As CANARIE continues to push the frontiers of networking technologies and services, it was appropriate for us to take the lead in ensuring Canadian research and higher education institutions are trained and ready for the transition to IPv6. It also ensures that Canadians are able to access and share global content, particularly content sourced from IPv6-enabled jurisdictions, like China and South Korea.”

“BCNET is a forerunner in adopting IPv6 in Canada, and in 2009, we were one of the first regional advanced research networks to implement the new protocol,” claims Michael Hrybyk, President and CEO of BCNET. “As early adopters of IPv6, we assisted campuses in British Columbia to become IPv6- ready. Now with the IPV6 Community Lab we are extending our expertise to campuses and research institutions across Canada.”


Organized by the Internet Society, World IPv6 Launch represents a major milestone in the global deployment of IPv6. As the successor to the current Internet Protocol, IPv4, IPv6 is critical to the Internet’s continued growth as a platform for innovation and economic development.

Without IPv6 functionality, Canadian researchers involved in international research collaboration projects will find themselves unable to access data or collaborate with their peers around the world who are IPv6-enabled. This is particularly true with leading IPv6-enabled countries like China and South Korea. The issue will become increasingly urgent as more and more websites and online resources and applications are only available in the IPv6 space.

Therefore, it is essential that Canada’s research and education institutions migrate to IPv6, so that participation in international research collaborations is not interrupted.

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses, which connect computers and other devices to the Internet, are widely expected to run out by 2012. In some regions, this has already happened. IPv6 addresses this issue, which is growing in part due to the proliferation of “connected” devices – cell phones, cars, appliances, watches, even refrigerators – that require an IP address. IPv6 provides greater IP addressing capacity – more than 4 billion times more addresses than IPv4 – and it enhances security.

CANARIE has been IPv6-enabled since 2000.


IPv6 Community Lab, hosted by BCNET.

IPv6 Training Materials – Ten training modules are available for technicians at institutions connected to the CANARIE network. Registration is required. Please specify IPv6 Training in the “comments” section of the registration form. CANARIE’s TwikiMaster will authenticate all requests prior to granting access.

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For more information, please contact:

Wynn Anne Sibbald
Communications Manager
(613) 943-5432

Tamara Klein
Communications Manager
(604) 505-8455


CANARIE Inc. is Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network. Established in 1993, CANARIE manages an ultra high-speed network that supports leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. One million researchers, scientists and students at over 1,100 Canadian institutions, including universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network. Together with 12 provincial and territorial advanced network partners, CANARIE enables researchers to share and analyze massive amounts of data, like climate models, satellite images, and DNA sequences that can lead to groundbreaking scientific discoveries. CANARIE is a non-profit corporation supported by membership fees, with the major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.

CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a vibrant digital economy. For additional information, please visit: .

Find us on Facebook and LinkedIn by searching for CANARIE Inc. On Twitter, search for CANARIE_Inc.


BCNET is a not-for-profit, shared IT services organization that collaborates with its higher education members to explore and evaluate leading-edge information technology services to accelerate research, collaboration, learning and innovation. BCNET’s high-capacity, advanced fibre optic network infrastructure provides a common and powerful platform to deliver services to support research and the strategic objectives of higher education institutions.

BCNET is owned, governed and funded primarily by its members, with some additional support provided by the Province of BC and CANARIE. BCNET is guided by clear, member-defined principles that provide a framework for the types of projects or services it will undertake. Proposed services share the common goal of reducing members’ costs, minimizing technology duplication and improving efficiencies, while meeting the collective mandate of its members.

As a thought-leader in information technology, BCNET works to promote and improve technology adoption and implementation at B.C.’s higher education and research institutes. BCNET advocates, educates, collaborates and supports information technology services to advance the mandates of its members.

Sixty-eight research and higher education institutions connect to BCNET, including federal and provincial research labs, federal cultural institutes, provincial health centres, universities and research institutions; another 72 colleges and schools connect to BCNET through the Provincial Learning Network